ZURICH - There is no point in countries
like England, Australia or the United States bidding to host
World Cup finals in the future until FIFA changes its voting
system, England's bid chief Andy Anson said on Friday.
He also said that he believed England's bid was fatally
damaged when FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned executive
committee members of the "evils of the media" just before they
Russia won the right to stage the 2018 finals on Thursday
while England, who expected at least "seven or eight votes" were
knocked out in the first round with just two including one from
their own representative.
Anson told a news briefing on Friday that some FIFA members
told him they turned off England's bid by the British
Broadcasting Corporation's Panorama documentary and the Sunday
Times' investigations into corruption at FIFA.
Asked if he would advise England to bid again Anson said: "I
would say right now don't bother until you know that the process
is going to change to allow bids like ours a chance to win.
"When you have the best technical bid, fantastic inspection
visits and the best economic report, and from what people told
us the best presentation yesterday - it's quite hard to stomach
that seemed to count for absolutely nothing.
"Having only 22 guys voting gives them too much power and
"Running two bids together for 2018 and 2022 was clearly a
"Everyone who had a vote and a bid clearly wanted to trade
that vote for something that helped them get over the line in
"Australia had a very good bid they got one vote, we had a
very good bid and we got two, the United States had an
unbelievably strong technical bid and got three.
"Six votes in the first round between those three, there's
something not quite right.
"For me this is an issue and FIFA needs to look
at the process, because it makes it easy for formidable
competitors like Russia and Qatar to gain influence."
He suggested that FIFA consider reverting back to their old
method of choosing hosts by a much bigger vote taken by all of
its 208-members. That was the method used until the early 1970s.
Regarding Blatter's intervention, Anson said: "I think that
was unhelpful - the last thing those guys needed to hear before
they go and tick the box is the evil of the media is not helpful
and actually inaccurate.
"There was a final sum-up before they voted and I think it
was at the beginning of that. That's not helpful to our cause."
Anson admitted that the defeat was hard to accept and he
felt totally let down.
"I still find it hard to understand what happened.
I'm not going to beat around the bush - individual members
promised to vote for us and didn't clearly.
"That's difficult to stomach when they have given you
assurances. They are saying to us that our media killed us but I
don't believe that for one minute, but that's what we are being
"Russia did a lot of last-minute lobbying and votes appeared
to switch at the last minute - we know some switched in the
early hours of the morning. We are not naive and we were up
until 5am, we left no stone unturned."
"But I would advise any future England bid team not to
bother, until the system changes. It is very hard to look some
people in the eye this morning."
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